On Rivals and Romance and Repeated Repetition
The following words may surprise you--indeed, they are probably the most shocking thing to happen in or around Port Charles in ages--but they're the truth: yesterday's episode of General Hospital was not a rerun. I can see why you'd think it was an old episode, since everyone was having the same conversations they've been having for eons, but no. Brand new.
Thursday's rehashed rehash had some high points. Okay, one high point. And, like it ALWAYS is, that high point was Carly.
Her obsession with Brenda and Dante, her utter vindictiveness and her perfect hair are the best parts of this show. Faint praise? Perhaps. But her melodramatic squealing about how quickly and tragically this latest go-round of Sonny and Brenda will end and how much time she is going to have to spend cleaning up broken glasses is hilarious.
Then there was the rest. Quick thoughts...
- Rumor has it that Daniel Benzali is a legitimate actor and I know that means nothing once an actor has to start speaking GH-penned words in front of a hopelessly inept GH director, but...what's with the over-the-top accent and unnecessary hamminess?
He sounds like Sesame Street's Count von Count starring in an all Muppet revival of King Lear. Part of me hopes that he IS The Balkan and just really enjoys getting into character. The other part of me hopes that he is NOT The Balkan, because can you imagine the tongue-lashing Robin will get from the rest of Port Charles if it turns out that he's an international crime figure and she was the only person who took a liking to him? And I bet Lisa would be the one to discover the truth! It's a horrible prospect!
- Speaking of Lisa and horrible, what is this?
- Also, what kind of dimwitted criminal mastermind attempts to steal medicine in front of a plethora of doctors, nurses, the Chief of Staff and a hospital trustee?!
- Not that the Chief of Staff is effective at his job in any way, shape or form. In a completely random scene that I assume was written so that real life BFFs Scott Reeves and Steve Burton could work together, Jason asked Steve for help in drawing The Balkan out of the mysterious shadows her lurks in, and Steve entered the room with all sorts of attitude before immediately caving in to Jason's wishes.
STEVE: You beckoned me, you criminal, you?
JASON: I need your help.
STEVE: IRONIC, isn't it? That a CRIMINAL needs my help. You call me to your den of sin and murder plots, and you want me, the Chief of Staff, to help you, the hitman? I think not.
JASON: It's just that Brenda's life is at stake--
STEVE: Lives will ALWAYS be at stake when people spend time with thugs and murderers.
JASON: It's just--
STEVE: Are you trying to intimidate me? It's not going to work. Yeah, the rest of Port Charles might be under your thumb, but I'm not.
STEVE: Oh, and now you're making short jokes? That's funny, Jason. Really funny. Let me reiterate: You are not the boss of me. I am the boss of me. And of the hospital. Me. Not you.
STEVE: Okay, come to the hospital Wednesday at 5. I'll make sure the door is unlocked for you. Are we cool? We're cool, right?
- Is Siobhan playing Lucky for evil, nefarious purposes, or is she also working undercover? I am sure the end reslt will be the opposite of entertaining, so I am not sure why I'm concerned...
- My heart breaks for Michael basically all the time. Even when he's happy, I am just overwhelmed with an urge to give him a hug, because Chad Duell has puppy dog eyes that would put actual puppies to shame.
I had nothing but sympathy for him today when he and Dante talked about the last time he and Dante talked (see what I mean about the rehashing?!) and Dante apologized for venting.
Michael: I know you're talking to me by default (HUG #1) and I can't really offer much advice in the ways of relationships (HUG #2), but I think I'm a good listener (HUG #3).
He lost me later, though. First, with his theory that Sonny is with Brenda at least partly to stick it to Carly. Second, with the boneheaded decision to tell the explosive ("explosive") secret of Dante's love for Brenda on the docks where anybody could hear...like Lulu, for example, who was strolling by at that exact moment. Third, by having the same exact conversation he has had with Abby for I don't even know how long. The writers obviously don't believe that we have the mental faculties needed to retain information for even brief stretches, hence the constant repetition about how nice Michael is and how unfailingly supportive--and how totally NOT A HOOKER--Abby is.
(Really. You know the joke about reading fortune cookies and adding "in bed" to the end? That's what the writers do with Michael and Abby. Basically every other sentence includes the words "I know you're not a hooker" or "I don't sell myself for money".)
- Dante's retconned love of Brenda is irksome.
1) It changes his entire relationship with Lulu. And I liked that relationship! Until it started eating the show, anyway.
2) am terrified about what will happen when Writer's Pet A's love for Writer's Pet B becomes common knowledge; I worry that the story will wind up playing out not just in every scene on General Hospital, but also All My Children and One Life to Live.
3) It means we get scenes that play out kind of like this:
LULU: Oh, my poor baby. What happened? PS: I love you.
DANTE: I just got a little drunk.
LULU: Oh, sweetie, let me get you a vitamin. Be right back. I'll miss you when I'm gone.
DANTE: I just have something I need to tell you.
LULU: You can tell me anything. Anything you say or do, I will support you.
DANTE: Okay. The thing is--
LULU: I will support you with my love.
LULU: Because I love you.
DANTE: Yeah, I can't do this.
I mean, REALLY. The writers could not possibly lay it on any thicker.
- They could also not lay it on any grosser! Dante found himself in one hell of an awkward position when he and his father started talking about the woman they both love.
DANTE: I've been guarding Brenda. SPEAKING OF BRENDA...
SONNY: Yeah, I'm taking care of Brenda tonight, if you know what I mean.
SONNY: I mean sexually. We're going to do it.
Uncomfortable, right?! For me, I mean.